First things first: if you can, please consider donating to Mercy Corps
or the Red Cross
or Doctors without Borders
or whomever you find worthy. The Yarn Harlot
has chosen MSF(The Canadian version of Doctors w/o Borders) as her charity of choice; Mercy Corps is where we are donating. Whatever you choose.
Second, I'm doing my first sock exchange!* Hosted by the lovely Alison @ The Blue Blog, it has over 100 participants raring to go. Very exciting stuff. As soon as I re-learn how to edit the dang side bar stuff, I will get this linked and set up.
Thirdly, and related to the title of today's entry. I hav ebeen playing around with Noro's Silk Garden. Many knitters I know have waxed poetic about the virtues of this yarn for a long while, so I wanted to see what the hype was all about.
It did not go well.
I decided I wanted to do a simple hat (fabulous pattern here). Then I decided that I really wanted to do it from the top down. So I whipped out my trusty copy of Knitting From the Top, checked the very general instructions and off I went.
Tihis yarn fought me every step of the way. It is crazy thick-and-thin (the thick bits being terribly unwieldy and the thin bits making me search for my glasses), its hand varies from incredibly soft to brillo-esque and I think the sheep were trying to save themselves a snack but got shorn before they could get to the bits of hay that were left in the yarn.
After several frustratng attempts to cast on and join I got this far:
The start of something big...
By this time, the texture has mellowed somewhat. I'm increasing away, things are going great, the colorway is looking spectacular, and then I decided what this hat really needs (after all that boring increasing) is a fancy texture pattern on the side. So off I go again to the font of knowledge that is the Barbara Walker collection. Finding the lovely Ripple Rib, I choose that as my next texture and go to town.
As I'm knitting- and debating mightily with myself about the wisdom of adding texture to this already busy yarn - I get a strong urge to check out the sizing.
"Feh," says I. "I know my gauge is 5 sts to the inch. What do I need to measure for? I wouldn't waste my time."
But after struggling thrtough 16 rows of this pattern and this yarn, I couldn't wait and put the stitches on a size 6 circular:
Lovely. Interesting. LARGE.
"Hmmm," says I . "It may be a little ... big. I'll just check my gauge again."
You already know what's coming, don't you? Of course my gauge on that ribbing pattern was FOUR STS TO THE INCH
. ARRRRRRRRRGH! (Insert epithet of choice here. I know I did.)
So: it's off to the Frog Pond I go. Never mind that I've been knitting for nearly 20 years (!). Nevermind that I teach
knitting, for goodness' sake. Some days, the universe is just not on your side.
I can only claim absolute, exhausted obsession. I did not have the luxury of doing what the dogs did all day...
Sleeping dogs lying.
*I had tried once before, but my sock buddy disappeared from the list before we could exchange sox & info. Sad, but true.